Gitis Baggs – The Gitis Baggs Game

Double Phelix

Kalamazoo Ambient Country/Folk

Confession time: I have had a love affair with the music of Gitis Baggs for quite some time.

Gitis lives in the traditional melancholy of midwest folk, psyche folk, alternative country, and so on. Whatever genre you ascribe to it, The Gitis Baggs Game oozes a type of comforting cerebral take on the world reminiscent of acts like Red Red Meat, Holopaw, Built to Spill, or Olivia Tremor control. Not that Gitis’ music is derivative of those acts or even sounds like them necessarily, but if you were to throw The Gitis Baggs Game on shuffle with various The Elephant 6 Collective acts it would fit right in. Added with a country twang.

I balked originally at using the word traditional, but I am writing this review in 2017. It seems fitting now to call psyche-folk, alt-country, and other midwest bastard genres falling under that banner, a tradition.

The bandcamp page has this album also tagged as ambient, and I think that is also a great way to look at this work.

It is calm in its uncomfortable clarity. The music is relaxed, at times organically washing upwards into large ornamentation.

Maybe I have been listening to too much Trap lately, or overtly electronic productions, so I may be biased here. But there is even a nicely lo-fi country track in the middle of the album. It sticks out because it has a different singer, but is just really solid and succinct.

For a majority of this thing, Gitis waxes poetic on top of these airy jams. Ruminating on various human conditions and applying a kind of optimistic nihilism in every verse.

I am not sure if this is a concept album, or maybe every Gitis album is a concept album, but I enjoy applying my own mythos to the tracks and what they mean.

Listen to this one on a rainy day. Or for a walk in the fall when the leaves are falling. Or if something terrible has happened and you want a sympathetic voice.

– JK